Who are the serial killers? Statistically speaking, out of the identified serial killers they usually turn out to be white males of above average intelligence who begin killing in their twenties. Sometimes serial killers work in teams of two and sometimes they consist of husband and wife couples. In the United States, serial killers are most often individual white males, although African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and even Eskimo have been convicted. Most serial murders are interracial, white killers murdering white victims, blacks killing blacks (Vronsky 2004). Victims of serial killers are often robbed; the most common driving force of serial murder is sexual control and dominance. Many victims are raped before or after being killed, while bondage, torture, dismemberment and cannibalism are also not uncommon features of serial homicide. Other motives for serial murder have also been attention; like mothers killing their children, and compassion.
In many of these cases, the killer and the victim did not know each other or were strangers who had just recently met. Most of the victims were not murdered while being robbed, nor did they get into a heated argument with the killers. The victims are almost always strangers. Serial killers carefully and cover their tracks after the crime and usually maintain a normal looking life and facade. For example, serial killers often have
Kreisman 2 jobs as businessmen, school teachers, doctors, and harmless drifters. It is often seen that after killing once, the killer rests for days, weeks, or months and then goes out on another hunt for a new victim and continues to kill again and again. The FBI uses a model to classify offenders as disorganized, organized or mixed (Gerberth 2006). The FBI categories are used for investigative purposes, but there are many other ways of classifying serial killers for psychological or criminological study. These categories are based on already identified serial killers and are often more valid and accurate for that reason. “The most prevalent typologies in current use for studying offenders are those defined by criminologist Ronald Holmes, Stephen Holmes, and James De Burger, who based their classification system on motive, as opposed to the FBI’s basis in method” (Vronsky 2004). They grouped serial killers into four categories: Visionary, mission-oriented, hedonistic, and power/control- oriented. Hedonist lust killers are probably the scariest and most monstrous of all types of serial killers. Not all of them want to necessarily hurt or kill you; they simply want to wear your skin or eat your liver or have sex with your dismembered body. Edward Theodore Gein is classified as one of these killers. Lust killers often have an ideal victim type in mind with fetishistic elements. Their fetishes might involve a certain type of footwear or clothing worn, color or style of hair, body shape, or a certain type of personality.
Lust killers often need intimate skin to skin contact in their killing, and use a knife or strangulation to murder. Necrophilia is a very frequent aspect of lust killer homicides (Vronsky 2004). They are mostly highly organized, having gone through years of the
Kreisman 3 process of transforming their bizarre fantasies into reality. Because sometimes these killers consume certain body parts or focus on them, dismembered victims might be spread over different locations. The lust killer usually chooses different dumping sites for each victim. Edward Theodore Gein killed in rural Wisconsin in the 1950’s. He is Perhaps one of the most notorious hedonistic lust killers. He was the character on which Robert Bloch’s novel Psyco and Alfred Hitchcock’s film of the same name were based, and part of the composite character of Buffalo Bill, the serial killer who skinned his victims in the novel and movie The Silence of the Lambs. Officially Gein is known to have killed